What remains as legacy for people with disabilities?

After a city hosts a major sports event like FIFA World Cup 2014 or Rio Olympics 2016.What remains as legacy for people with disabilities?

Traditionally organizers claim that these sorts of major games bring buildings, jobs, and status to the host.

We can measure such things by:

  • Comparing the projected and actual expenditure on infrastructure
  • Analyzing the construction of stadiums
  • Monitoring the stimulus to the economy and to job creation
  • Recording impact on the safety and security of citizens 

Yet, in the heat of preparing for these events expectations become huge - and those responsible for the event bear some responsibility for the exaggerated hopes.

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  • Dissatisfaction is fed without a thorough and fair public process allowing the local community to influence government. Through lack of  participation democracy is undermined.
  • Without clarity about how project money can be spent hopes rise irrationally. When the money may actually be restricted to building stadiums and parking lots people are led to believe there will be spending on new hospitals and schools, revitalized roads and neighborhoods, or magically high levels of profits and social harmony .
  • Without transparency about how money is spent suspicions of corruption are strengthened. 

Yet, part of what we want as people with disabilities and for people with disabilities lies exactly in that area where feelings are as important as facts.

We don't just want to sit and watch FIFA World Cup 2014. We want to participate enthusiastically alongside our friends.

We don't want to just watch Rio Olympics 2016. We want to train for it and bring home gold medals!

We don't just want government functionaries who hide behind numbers. We want leaders who inspire. We want contractors who construct quality because they know they are building future citizens not only buildings.


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